Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Holy S*&!, the Niners Blew the Superbowl...:A Theraputic Look Back on the Worst Day There Ever Was
In my last blog post, I had an inner dialog between me and myself pre-Superbowl. Those were happier times. Those were times where logic still existed and the world was a just, fair place to live in. Those were times when red and gold rainbows ruled the skies and Ray Lewis had an equal amount of murder accusations and superbowl rings.
But those times are gone. And in their place, there is only darkness of purple and black. Like a giant bruise that covers the face of humanity. And in these dark times, I give you the second part of my inner dialog between me and myself, post-Superbowl. Read if you dare, but just know, you are entering a world without sunlight, without hope.
Myself: So... how many throats did you end up ripping out?
Me: None. It turns out that it's quite difficult to rip throats, or do much of anything really, when you're constantly in the fetal position.
Myself: Oh cheer up, dude. Your team made the Superbowl! Only one other team in the whole league can say that. Plus, you have a lot to look forward to! Your team is young and stacked, you guys are already considered Superbowl contenders for next season, for Christ sakes!
Me: I know, and that might give me comfort in a few weeks, but right now, I just can't stop thinking about that day. All my thoughts keeping coming back to it. Everything was going perfectly, and then... it all went dark.
Myself: (sigh)...OK, well, why don't you talk about the day out loud. Maybe that will help get the thoughts out of your head.
Me: I'm not sure if I'm up for that...
Myself: Fine, if you really don't think it will help-
Me: The day started off so well!! I woke up around ten in the morning, ending my rest after spending a night downtown, celebrating with other Niner fans, mocking Baltimore fans and catching beads from the party-revelers hovering from balconies above. Now, I can't say I felt great the moment I rose out of bed that morning, but I wasn't going to let a little hangover ruin my day.
The first thing I did that morning was take a shower and think about how I was only hours away from the biggest game of the season, and my team was in it! And I was in the city where my team was playing the biggest game of the season! It was too perfect! It was destiny!
Then I dried off and put on my $30 Niners shirt that I had bought the night before on Canal St. The shirt itself was a bit of a gamble, because in big Red letters it read: 49ERS SUPERBOWL CHAMPIONS 2013! Obviously, if things went sour that day, I could never wear that shirt again, so like I said, it was a bit of a gamble.
But when I put that shirt on that morning, something amazing happened. My hangover from last night's festivities suddenly vanished. Sure, call me a liar if you like, but it's true. My head immediately cleared up, and I naturally assumed I was a wearing a shirt of truth. It was right then that I knew today would be a special day.
The sky was beautiful that morning. As I walked down Broadway St to St. Charles to catch a streetcar, I couldn't help but smile at the pure blue sky above that was smattered with splotches of pearly white clouds. The temperature was perfect as well. Everything was great. Everything was beautiful.
My street car ride to the Quarter was one I won't soon forget. The car was packed to the brim, mostly with superbowl fans, all of us just filled with excitement. There were taunts and cheers, hisses and kisses. We rode down the historic St. Charles Street, and as we slowly but surely got closer and closer to the also historic Superdome, I could feel the already boiling excitement in the street car start to rise to even higher levels.
And then, once again, something miraculous happened. As I stood on the street car, watching the old elegant Southern houses of St. Charles pass me by, I saw something amazing. Those old elegant homes smiled at me. I can't explain it, but they did. They fucking smiled at me. One even winked at me. It was truly a great moment. And once again, I knew that day was going to be special.
Anyway, my plan for the day hadn't gotten further than taking the streetcar downtown and then letting the madness of the day take a hold of me. But once I got off the street car, this plan of mine seemed a little risky. For I quickly found that the Ravens fans in the Quarter outnumbered the Niner fans by at least 10 to 1. This made me feel a kind of madness for sure, but not the good kind. If I wasn't careful, I might accidentally beat up every single one of these squawking Ravens fans and leave them on the street, bloody and distressed.
Instead, I forced myself to take the adult route. Whenever I passed by a Ravens fan, I simply pointed to my magical 49er shirt and gave them a look of superiority. Often times they would just look away in shame. It was great.
Having no direction in particular to go, I found myself following the masses of people heading away from the quarter and towards the tall buildings of downtown. I found out soon enough that behind the buildings was a little place called the Superdome. I was home.
Of course, I didn't have a ticket for the game, but that didn't really matter at the time. Just seeing the excitement of the people as they flocked inside the dome was a great enough experience for me. I continued to walk around the police perimeter that surrounded the Superdome and enjoy some great people-watching.
At a certain point, I came to a section where a brass band was serenading a long line of people waiting to get into the dome. You know the other city that would hire brass bands to entertain the long lines of people waiting to get inside the stadium? None of them. Strictly a New Orleans custom, and it made me proud to be able experience it first hand.
Also, I danced like a free-spirited lunatic and it was great.
And then, the first annoying thing occurred on a (so far) wonderful day. One of those crazy religious people came up to the line of people with a megaphone and started shouting religious nonsense at them. Now, like most people, I have always had a strong dislike for these kinds of people, but when they try to piss on my Superbowl parade, that really gets me angry.
So I was about to go say something to the preaching man, but then he said something that caught my ear.
He said: "God doesn't care about football, he doesn't care about the Superbowl! He only cares that you follow the 49 commandments!"
I stopped in my tracks. 49? I looked at the religious man to see if he was wearing any football paraphenelia but he was not.
He continued: "Yes, the glorious ten commandments! You must follow each of them!"
My God, I thought. It was a slip of the tongue. He doesn't even know he said it.
49 commandments- 49ers. It's a sign from above!
And then I shouted right in his crazy old ear that the 49ers would follow the 49 commandments to victory, and he looked at me like I was a mad man. It was yet another glorious moment of the day.
After I had my fill I walked away from the Superdome and began looking for more glorious experiences.
My quest didn't take long to fufill.
For not four blocks away from the dome was a parking lot. Now normally, I don't feel any kind a way about parking lots as they are rather boring places to be. However, on game day, parking lots become magical places of happiness, also known as tailgating. And on Superbowl Sunday, when people have traveled hundreds of miles away, tailgating becomes a Super event itself.
Now, if I may speak frankly, I have never had much trouble making friends. Chalk it up to my easy-going personality and my dashing good looks. But on that day, in that parking lot, I honestly think I broke the record for making the most amount of friends in the smallest amount of time.
I easily had at least forty new best friends in the span of five minutes. And they were all great, incredible, morally-sound people.
For the next four hours, we proceeded to engage in delightful conversation about football and the San Francisco Forty Niners, drink a ton of delicious beer, play many games of cornhole, and eat delicious BBQ food. I know I've said this a lot, but it was indeed another great moment of the day.
Anyway, after our four hours together, it was time to part ways; as I did not have a ticket to the game, and they did. So I said my goodbyes, got a few phone numbers, and then headed to the Quarter to find a random bar to watch the game in.
It didn't really matter where I watched it. All that mattered is that once the game had ended, I would only have to take a few mere steps out on the street before being picked up and carried off by the celebratory crowd of Red and Gold. It was the perfect plan.
Just as I reached the edge of the Quarter, a friend called me and told me a buddy of his was working at the House of Blues that day and recommended we go there. That was enough for me.
Let me tell you, I'm glad we ended up at there. For when we arrived, my friend's buddy escorted us to the back patio, where we found a giant table for ourselves, as well as a giant projection screen that would shortly be showing the game.
Now, just picture this if you will, it's sunset in the French Quarter on a beautiful day, me and my friends are lounging in a back patio filled with other crazed football fans, we are minutes away from the biggest game of the season, which my team is in, and there are ice-filled buckets of beer at our finger tips. So do you really blame me for thinking that football gods were smiling upon me at that very moment? Do you really find fault in my logic that this was the day that the 49ers took home their sixth Lombardi trophy?
Myself: No, I can see how you would think that.
Me: Shut up, I'm trying to tell a story here. Anyway, in a day filled with glorious moments, this was the most glorious. Everything was right with the world.
And then the game started.
And my memory of the next two hours is fuzzy. I remember a lot of pained screaming by me and my fellow 9er fans. I remember some commercial about a horse and his man boyfriend. And I remember a lot of obnoxious fucking Ravens fans screaming behind me.
And then before I knew it, it was half time and we were down 21-6. How the hell did this happen? I wondered. What the hell was my team doing?!
My friends tried to comfort me. They kept reminding me that there was still a whole second half to play, and this team has come back from behind many times before. I told myself they were right, but I still felt an unbelievable amount of stress on my heart. I started to wonder if I would survive the game...But I jsut kept telling myself, second half, second half, second half.
And then the second half started and the fucking Ravens returned the kickoff for a touchdown.
I let out a blood curdling scream as all the love in my body dropped to my ankles.
And then, just as I had never felt any lower than I ever had felt before, something strange happened. And it's not what you're thinking either, that hadn't happened yet. No, what happened at that moment was something that just happened to me. I felt something soft touch the top of my head. I looked up and realized that a man, a Ravens fan no less, had come up behind me and kissed the top of my head.
This actually happened.
I believe he was doing it with the intention of mocking me, but it was still such a bizarre occurrence that it left me dumbfounded. Which I suppose was a good thing, considering my previous state of mind.
And then, minutes later, as I'm sure you know, the power went off in the stadium, immediately causing millions of people to join my dumbfounded club.
The power outage lasted 34 minutes, which was long enough for me to put things into context. The niners, despite all odds, were getting their butts kicked in the Superbowl, Ravens fans were stealing kisses from my head, and the Superdome had lost power. Clearly this all meant something. But what?
I looked down at my miracle shirt, and then I thought about the smiling Southern homes I saw on the street car that morning, and the crazy preacher who made a Freudian Forty-niner slip, and then back to the kiss and the power outage.
Of course, I thought. this is all just leading up to the most epic comeback of all time. The signs point to redemption! Life will be good again!
And then the power came back on, and the game resumed play.
And everything I had said came true... except during the last minute of the game. When we failed to get the last touchdown, thus, failing to win our sixth trophy.
Those last seconds of the game... when I realized we weren't going to win. When I realized that the football gods had shit on me yet again.... I remember feeling numb. Not sad, not distressed. Just numb.
And in my numbness, I walked out of the House of Blues and down a dark and dirty street of the Quarter. And then I experienced something that, no matter how hard I try, I will never ever forget.
After only getting about ten feet down Decatur, I became aware that the Quarter had suddenly been flooded with a cacophony of jubilant squawking. The sound was deafening, echoing down each and every street, destroying the sanity of the minds of the faithful Red and Gold that were retreating from the scene of the crime.
And I had no choice but to endure this horrible squawking as I slowly made my way to the streetcar. At a different time, I would have ran out of the Quarter as fast as I could, but there was no energy left in my body at that moment. Every drop had been drained from me.
So I walked.
I walked through hell, I tell you. And I'm still there now. Even though I left the Quarter days ago, I tell you I'm still in hell. I was tricked by the devil. Don't you see? It was the devil who gave me hope, who sent me those signs so I would believe our team would win. It was the devil who tricked me into thinking it was a good idea to buy a $30 shirt that I could never where again. And it was He who tricked me into going to the Quarter. It was the Devil that gave me hope at the last minute with that power outage. He did it all so at the end of the day, I would be stuck forever in that dark dirty street in the Quarter, drowning in the howls and squawks of the rabid army of the Ravens fans.
Myself: Wow, that all sounds pretty dramatic. Are you sure you're not just being a big baby? I mean, you had a great day besides the unfortunate ending. Maybe you should just buck up and be a man.
Me: Maybe you would look better without a throat! (lunges for myself, rips throat. Resumes fetal position).
(Until Next Season, That Is)